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HIV and cancer
Jun 2, 2006

You mentioned in a recent response that HIV related cancers are slightly decreased statistically recently. I was under the impression that with undetectable viral loads on HAART a patient would not be at increased risk. How significant is the risk to the this type of patient?

Response from Dr. Wohl

The data suggest that while Kaposi's sarcoma and lymphoma of the brain are less common in the era of potent HIV therapy, body lymphoma is not. This may change over time and it may be that with sustained suppression of HIV and robust CD4 cell counts, all cancers will be less common.

However, I do worry about people who start therapy late and have CD4 cell counts that don't rise up as much as we would like. Does this reduced CD4 cell count put one at risk for malignancy over a period of time? I hope not. For this and obvious reasons I try to help people to quit smoking and perform regular routine cancer screenings.

DW



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